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Painting Over Varnish Without Sanding

I want to paint my old varnished wood cabinets with white enamel. I don't want to strip and sand. Can it be done?

By Miss Ida Mae from Bridgeport, CT




You can buy TSP at Home Depot or Lowe's to wash a wood table top or cabinet surfaces and then rinse off; allow to dry. It's best if you use a primer on the wood before painting. We had to prime wood paneling after using TSP because the wood surface kept bleeding through. It worked and I only needed to coat a couple of times with paint.

By Lorelei


My husband is a retired cabinet maker, and I just did exactly what you're attempting. He had me get a product called TSP. My box is called TSP-PF (phosphate free - no real difference in the outcome). Worked great, inexpensive, easily found at Home Depot, Lowe's, etc.

You wash down the cabinets with it (mixed in water), rinse, and prime. Then you're good to go! Hubby says the paint will last quite a long time. He has much experience with this product. By the way, get a small box. It won't take much!


By Seppwats

Crackle Effect

I once painted some varnished paneling in a guest bedroom without doing any prepping and it turned out looking really cool with a "crackle" effect so if that sounds interesting to you maybe give it a try, but just do one small portion first to make sure you like it.

By Deeli

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